…Chair Warns Aspirants, Social Media Aides against Campaign of Calumny, Divisive Statement
By Abuchi Onwumelu
Contrary to reports in certain quarters that the leadership of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, has shut the door against potential aspirants, the State Chairman of the party in Anambra State, Chief Sir Norbert Obi, says the door is wide open to any aspirant who wishes to contest the governorship election on the platform of the party.
Sir Obi, a Knight of St John International, debunked the rumour making the rounds that the party had an anointed candidate and would not conduct Primary Election for the November 6 gubernatorial Election in Anambra State, assuring that the party would not only conduct an election, but would also ensure that it was free, fair, credible and transparent.
Addressing journalists at the party’s secretariat, Awka, Sir Obi, flanked by the State Secretary of the party, Barr. Anthony Ifeanya, and the Zonal Chairman, South, Barr. Benneth Ibekwe, frowned at what he described as embarrassing media war on the social media amongst media aides of the party’s governorship aspirants.
The State Chairman regretted that instead of working together as a team and family, the media aides had thrown caution to the winds and declared a free-for-all character assassination and campaign of calumny, mudslinging and physical attacks, and demanded a stop to such occurrences.
He warned of the dire consequences on those who disobeyed the order, calling on all aspirants to call their social media aides and supporters to order; even as he noted that the situation had degenerated into a very embarrassing situation for the party.
Obi revealed that the APGA would soon call all the party’s governorship aspirants to address them to that effect, while he acknowledged that some of the aspirants were not aware of some of the gutter language and character assassination being carried out by their media aides and supporters.
Responding to questions, Sir Obi declared that the party did not have an anointed candidate, reiterating that the INEC’s and party’s guidelines would guide the party and the aspirants who eventually purchased the party’s ticket and nomination form through a primary election that would produce a candidate for the party.
He urged all aspirants to go about their grassroots consultations with party faithful across the state with decorum, bearing in mind that the party remained one family before and after the primary elections.
He stressed that the party would not take chances so as to avoid the Zamfara scenario, insisting that the party must hold her primary elections and produce a candidate that everyone would support in the November 6 governorship election in the state.
Corroborating the State Chairman, the National Publicity Secretary of APGA, Barr Tex Okechukwu, condemned the actions of the media aides, admonishing the aspirants to rein in their supporters.
‘It has come to the knowledge of the national leadership of our great party, the ongoing unsavoury war of attrition among the media teams of aspirants seeking nomination to the governorship position of the party for the November 6 election in Anambra State.
‘Information at our disposal points to a deliberate plot by some external forces to cause disaffection within the rank and file of the party to weaken it ahead of the said election.
‘The veracity of this piece of information could be clearly seen in the desperation of the media teams to undo one another to the detriment of the collective interest of the party.
‘Considering the danger this situation portends and the undue tension it is causing, aspirants are hereby advised to call their media teams to order without delay.
‘There is nothing wrong in media teams portraying their principals in positive light, but it becomes condemnable where such activities smacked of bitter rivalry, unhealthy outbursts and resort to name-calling and subterfuge.
‘The party would not hesitate to evoke the relevant sections of its constitution to deal with anybody or persons – no matter how highly placed – causing disaffection within the party as we inch toward governorship primaries.
‘We must maintain the ‘Onye aghala nwanne ya’ mantra of our party and do things with love, mutual respect and dignity.
‘Politics is not a do-or-die affair, but a process, which, if diligently applied, would promote peace, progress and development.
‘The APGA administration in Anambra State has performed excellently and, therefore, should not be distracted in any way by the excesses of some politicians bent on fermenting trouble,’ he said.
The party chieftain urged supporters of the party in Anambra to be on the alert at all times and shun the temptation of allowing themselves to be used by disgruntled politicians to cause tension and strife in the party.
‘We reaffirm our unremitting resolve to protect the constitution and integrity of the party at all times, irrespective of whose ox is gored,’ he concluded.